20140513-125622.jpgIf you’re a professional speaker then you probably travel to speaking gigs or you want to travel.

But there might be times when you forget a few things or you don’t use traveling to it’s full advantage. Most speakers will travel and they will spend a lot of time doing very little work but you have to make a decision…is this business or pleasure?

If you’re running a speaking business and you want to get more speaking gigs then you have to treat every moment like it’s a business…even when you’re traveling. So instead of just sitting in your hotel room doing a whole lot of nothing, you should be getting gigs.

This is the difference between the speakers who stay booked and the speakers who are desperately trying to get booked; The speakers who stay booked are always in business-mode.

But what types of things should you make sure you have before you travel and what should you be doing while you’re traveling to make sure you get more gigs and use your time wisely?

Here are some things you need to check for before you leave to your speaking gig:

  • Hygene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc)
  • Your suit and shoes (I almost forgot my dress shoes once)
  • Fitness clothes
  • Electronics (laptop, phone, chargers)
  • Contact information (you might need to contact the person who hired you)
  • Shuttle information (How will you get to/from the hotel)

In addition to the simple checklist, there are also a few things you want to do to make sure you’re using your time wisely

1. Plan your layover time

If you have a layover, don’t just sit around and do a whole lot of nothin…get stuff done or at least read a book. Most people have extra time and use that time to eat junk food but as a speaker, you want to use that time to get work done. Maybe you’re working on a book so pull out your laptop and finish that book. Or maybe you need to send a few follow-up emails so make sure you get it done.

Time is your most valuable asset so don’t waste it.

2. Plan your fitness

Have you noticed that guys who travel a lot are usually chubby?…They have the flabby belly. I don’t know about you but I like to stay healthy so it’s important that you plan for fitness.

Bring workout clothes because most hotels have a gym. Also, make sure you eat the right types of food…especially if you’re going to be traveling a lot.

My brother is a fitness coach who competed in Mr Olympia and one thing I learned about fitness is that the food is the most important part. You can workout all you want but if you’re not eating right then your workouts are being wasted.

When you travel, it’s easy to eat all the wrong foods. Airports have fast-food and the restaurants aren’t all that better either. So what do you do? Eat healthy foods like salmon instead of those burgers.

You have to make a conscious choice to eat healthy while you’re traveling or you’re doomed (and stay away from those croissants during breakfast).

3. Plan your breaks

The best way to get things done is to have intense focus sessions and then super-relaxing breaks. The best part about breaks when you’re traveling is that you don’t have to do much.

20140513-125526.jpgRight now, I’ve been hired for an event in Florida and I’m at a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale that has beach right next to it. So the only logical choice for a break is to hit the beach…but not for too long…this is still a gig so I have to get work done.

4. Plan your setup

Before you get on stage, you have to make sure everything is ready to go and this should be set well in advance.

One of the things I do at my gigs uses a big dry erase board that the hotel usually provides so I always make sure they have it instead of waiting till the last minute. If I wait until the last minute then they might not know where the board is, it might be too small, or a million other things could be wrong and I’m screwed.

Clients don’t want excuses from you. They want you to do your best no matter what and if you’re not on your game 24/7 then you might not get that client again (and you won’t get spin-off gigs from that event). So make sure you have everything ready to go.

Overall, you have to be very honest with yourself…are you on vacation or are you doing business? If you’re doing business then you treat everything differently. Just because you’re in a hotel doesn’t mean you can slack off on your speaking business. In fact, it means that you need to be extra-aware because it’s so easy to slack off.

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